ATHENS — Exactly two weeks before the annual G-Day game and midway through Georgia spring practice, the Bulldogs were looking like a fairly healthy football team.
The Bulldogs were at Sanford Stadium on Saturday preparing for their first full-scale scrimmage of the spring. And there were several encouraging signs, as players that have been out most of the way were at least on the field and going through the paces.
First and foremost among them were receivers Riley Ridley and Jayson Stanley. Ridley, who will be suspended for the first game of the season for disciplinary reasons, hasn’t been seen on the practice field all spring as he recovers from offseason foot surgery. Ridley was only working out on the side and didn’t look close to competing, but he was dressed out in a black jersey (signifying non-contact status) and going through special drills under supervision of a medical trainer.
Stanley was also in a black jersey but going full speed through pass-skeleton drills. The junior wideout missed the last few practices because of a concussion.
Most UGA players healthy and accounted for
As usual, defensive lineman Trent Thompson (illness) and inside linebacker Roquan Smith (pectoral muscle) were working on the side with sports medicine director Ron Courson. They did not have on shoulder pads or helmets but were otherwise fully dressed out.
Otherwise, everybody else on the team appeared healthy and accounted for.
G-Day is Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m. ET at Sanford Stadium and will be seen on SEC Network.
Other observations from the brief (less than eight minutes) observation period allotted for the media on Saturday:
- As for the daily Mecole Hardman watch, he was donning the offense’s red jersey and working with the receivers again. Increasing indications are that he’s working almost exclusively with the wideouts. Coach Kirby Smart, who will be available for a briefing after practice, has said that he’s still working a lot with defensive backs but has different emphasis on different days.
- Georgia’s lack of depth at quarterback is very apparent when the team splits into groups for position drills. Only Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm and walk-on Sam Vaughn are available to throw passes. Brice Ramsey, as is usually the case on Saturdays, was not present. He’s likely touring prospective campuses for his impending transfer.
- There was no way to determine the pecking order with the offensive line, which changes almost daily. During the observation period, the linemen were working in pairs of guards and tackles on blocking drills. For what it’s worth, it appeared that redshirt sophomore Pat Allen and senior Isaiah Wynn were often working in tandem, an indication they might be working together at left guard and tackle for the day.
- Ian Donald-McIntyre, a redshirt freshman walk-on tailback from Fayetteville, had a heavy wrap on his left hand.
- There’s certainly plenty of time to get it rectified, but Sanford Stadium’s famous privet hedges, and the red ones that border the stands, were looking pretty rough. They were probably victims of the early-spring warmth followed by a late cold spell, just like the azaleas at Augusta National Golf Club.